Is Framing An Innocent Person For A Crime A Violation of Libertarian Law? Yes.

From: Anonymous

Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2020 4:39 PM

To: walter block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Question about libertarian theory

Dear Prof. Block,

I’m a fellow libertarian (I mean Rothbardian all the way, etc.)

I’d like to pick your brain on this actual case .

In short, a woman physically harms herself in an effort to frame her boyfriend, claiming that he did it.  Her plot is, thankfully, revealed, and she goes to jail.

But let’s imagine that she succeeded.

How should we analyze this case in libertarian theory?

She lied.  But lying isn’t aggression, as long as it isn’t fraud, i.e. there is no theft.

She used the judge as an instrument against her boyfriend.  However, the judge has a mind of his own, he is not a robot.  Just like Rothbard says incitement isn’t a violation of the NAP, because the people you incide are responsible for their own actions,  similarly, the judge maybe should be responsible for being misled, not she for misleading him.

But, if that’s the case, you see what happens:  Anybody who doesn’t like somebody tries to frame him!   If it works, great.  If it doesn’t, the judge will be punished, not me.   Crazy, right?

Somehow, we need to make the NAP cover lies that intentionally lead to harm, even if it isn’t technically fraud.  I would be interested in your thoughts.  And I would share them with my fellow Greek-speaking libertarian friends, if you don’t mind.

Thank you very much,

Anonymous

Dear GC:

Thanks for sending me this good challenge to libertarian theory.

I think that the answer is that this woman aided and abetting a criminal conspiracy. It is sort of like the getaway car driver for the criminal gang. The driver just drove. Driving should be legal. So he’s not a criminal? No, he IS a criminal because he aided and abetted a crime. Well, so did the frame up woman.

Best regards,

Walter

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4:19 am on November 23, 2020